San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Friday, June 21, 2013

In Colorado, If You Drink Coffee You Can Lose Your Guns

I was watching the television news the other night when a report came on that shocked me.  I didn't think it was possible for me to be shocked by a nightly news report anymore.  The fact that I was shocked by this report shocked me.  Once I got over the shock at being shocked I began to think about what I had just heard.  Allow me to share what shocked me with you.
I think most people know that the Amerikan Psychiatric Association issues a book which lists the sum total of all the behaviors it considers to be examples of mental illnesses.  It is a very important book for many people.  It seems very strange to me but many different groups desperately want to be classified as being mentally ill.  Being classified as mentally ill puts those groups in a position where they can receive government funds and public sympathy.  A whole lot of what economists call "rent seeking" is going on when the competition heats up to see who is going to make the official list of who is mentally ill and who is not.  The latest edition of the book is hot off the presses and there are some surprises.  The following quotation gives you the scoop about what I found so shocking the other night.
"According to the Wall Street Journal, 'the latest version of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, commonly referred to as DSM-5, includes both caffeine intoxication and withdrawal. These conditions are considered mental disorders when they impair a person's ability to function in daily life.'
Until recently, caffeine withdrawal was classified as a 'research diagnosis.' Now it's been upgraded. The Journal writes there's some controversy around the decision, since caffeine withdrawal and intoxication rarely cause serious impairment. In fact, the average person suffering headaches after 12 hours with no coffee doesn't necessarily fit the mental disorder status.  To be diagnosed with caffeine withdrawal, a patient must experience at least three of five symptoms within 24 hours of stopping or reducing caffeine intake: headache, fatigue or drowsiness, depressed mood or irritability, difficulty concentrating, and flulike symptoms such as nausea or muscle pain.  But there's an added requirement: those conditions must cause 'clinically significant distress or impairment.'
The variation in coffee intoxication is even more interesting. Some people can suffer coffee intoxication by ingesting 250 milligrams of caffeine, while others have to ingest much higher doses. Similarly, some people metabolize caffeine quickly enough to rid the body of half a dose in two hours; for others, it can take up to eight. There's some bad news for people genuinely going through caffeine withdrawal, too--slowly cutting back isn't guaranteed to avoid the symptoms of withdrawal. Going cold turkey is tough, but most symptoms should disappear after a week. The Journal quotes experts who recommend drinking no more than 100 milligrams of coffee at a time, and doing that on an irregular schedule. In the long run, that could help avoid both intoxication and withdrawal, and make caffeine more effective when you really need it."  (http://www.tested.com/food/coffee/456456-caffeine-withdrawal-and-addiction-earn-clinical-diagnoses-mental-disorders)
So there you have it.  Almost everyone reading this blog today is mentally ill.  I, fortunately, am not.  I am not caffeine addicted.  I never drank coffee until recently.  After a lifetime of abstinence, I took up drinking coffee earlier this year in the hope that I could make it into a bad habit.  Now that I am getting older I have decided to try and take up one bad habit each year for the rest of my life under the belief that whatever I take up at this late stage will not be able to kill me before I die of something else I probably already have.  But, try as I might, I could not get addicted to coffee.  After six months I have given up.  Drinking a couple of cups of coffee in the morning made me jittery and queasy for the rest of the day.  Not drinking coffee made me feel better.  Hence, I am not addicted.  I think I will try snuff next year.  I might have more luck getting addicted to nicotine.
Notwithstanding my attempts to become addicted to caffeine, if you skip your morning cup of coffee and you develop a slight headache, get a little sleepy and a wee bit irritable, guess what?  You are mentally ill!  That is what the high priests of the state religion have recorded in the holy book.  I could write a complete series of blog postings on the ridiculous things these idiots believe are mental illnesses that are really nothing more than personal choices.  But that is not the point of today's post to this blog.  There is something far more insidious going on than the ridiculous notion that caffeine addiction is an example of a mental illness.  This new revelation about caffeine from the priestly practitioners of psychiatry can result in the federales knocking on your door and confiscating your guns.  That is shocking.
Colorado legislators passed a series of gun control laws earlier this year.  One of those laws makes it illegal for anyone who has been diagnosed as mentally ill to own a gun.  Here is an exact quotation of a portion of the bill that was signed by the governor: 
Colorado HB 13-1229:  Mental Health Reporting Requirements
"The new law requires the state court administrator to send electronically to the Bureau the names of each person who has been, under court order:  (1) found to be incapacitated, (2) committed to a behavioral health treatment program, or (3) involuntarily certified for short term or long term treatment and care for mental illness.  The court administrator must send this information withing 48 hours of notification."
Once the state has a list of people who have been diagnosed as being mentally ill those people will be forbidden to own firearms.  Anyone who is ever officially diagnosed as suffering from the mental illness of coffee drinking and who agrees to take a caffeine pill to alleviate his withdrawal symptoms must now legally give up his right to own guns in the state of Colorado.
I posted an article to this blog on precisely this issue back when the bill originally passed. I made the point that it would be highly likely that gun control advocates, who are often very highly sympathetic to the ravings of the high priests of the state religion of psychiatry, would now have no impediments to initiating gun control by means of mental health diagnoses.  I expected the list of things that are considered to be mental illness to expand exponentially.  Guess what?  It is happening.
Is the decision to declare coffee drinking a mental illness related to the movement to take away our guns?  I don't know for sure but I do know one thing.  In Colorado if you drink coffee you are in a position where you could find yourself without the right to bear arms.  A word of advice to gun owners in Colorado:   keep your coffee drinking private.  Don't text or tweet about it. Do not post on Facebook about it. Do everything you can to keep the FBI, the CIA and the NSA from finding out you drink coffee because if they do, that could be the end of your 2nd Amendment rights.

P.S.
I am taking a week off to head west, play some golf and climb some mountains.  I do not plan on drinking any coffee.  See you on July 1st.

P.P.S
If you came to this posting for information about the recent stock market volatility, go to:  6-18 ("Idiots at the Wall Street Journal"), 6-17 ("Idiots at the International Monetary Fund"),  6-4 ("Stocks Are Still Undervalued"), and 5-3 ("Brainless Ben Bernanke") for all you need to know on the issue.  
MW

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Idiots Filled With Envy Are Everywhere

I was reading some ultra right wing propaganda on the internet the other day when I came across the table below.  I found its message so compelling I copied it to my blog so I could write about the various truths it illustrates.  First, some definitions for the terms used in the table must be provided.  The table categorizes the responses of various groups of people to the concepts of capitalism and socialism. 
The basic principle behind all of capitalism is that a person should be allowed to freely engage in production and trade and then keep the fruits of his labors.  Government should not intervene in the economy in any way.  Government should only become involved when two or more groups become involved in some sort of dispute over the terms of their voluntary contractual agreement.  Government would then play the role of mediator/adjudicator and resolve the dispute by means of a knowable and predictable body of common law.
The basic principle behind all of socialism is that people should be guided through all of life by extremely wise governmental rulers who make up laws and apply them as they need them along the way.  Nobody should be allowed to exercise self determination of any type.  Freedom is seen as a bad thing and people who behave freely are deemed to be menaces to society.  All people must do what the wise leaders say is best for all of society. If they should be so lucky as to actually make some money, which will generally only happen when their business is granted some sort of governmental monopolistic privilege, the profits they earn belong to "society".  "Society" is defined as that group of people which manages to get their guy elected, thereby empowering him to transfer the wealth of others to them.
Socialists are idiots.  They are idiots because they believe that just because some human being is from the government he is somehow intellectually and morally superior.  They believe that just because some guy was able to tell enough lies and promise enough money to various groups to get elected that he is a superior human being and fully qualified to rule over the rest of us.  Take any regular person and put him in a business suit and he becomes the devil incarnate.  Take him out of his business suit and place him on the court of county commissioners or in the state legislature and he becomes a genius able to lead all of his subjects to the promised land.  That is idiotic, but it is the way socialists think.
Socialists are also immoral.  They are guilty of theft when they approve of the transfer of wealth from one group to another.  The mere fact that the transfer of wealth has been approved by majority vote does not change the truth that theft is taking place.   In addition to being guilty of theft they are guilty of envy.  I know, I know.  Nobody writes about envy these days.  That is some sort of old fashioned "sin" that is so passe in our time.  I don't care.  Envy is still sin and sin is still wrong.  The combination of envy and idiocy makes up a socialist. The Socialist Democracy of Amerika is made up of people filled with envy and stupidity.  They rise to positions of power and impose their will on the minority which is unable to protect itself from the depredations of the democratic process. 
Take a look at this table:



The table makes it quite clear who believes in freedom and who believes in slavery.  People who believe in freedom engage in the production of goods and services and then trade those goods and services with others for mutual profit.  They are the capitalists.  People who believe in an omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient State believe in slavery.  They are the socialists.  They live off the wealth of others and would never dream of actually producing anything themselves.  They have convinced themselves that they are either victims or morally superior to the capitalists.  Their victim status or self perceived moral superiority gives them the right to take what they want, by majority vote.
Within the three "races" shown above (I am personally offended that there was no racial category entitled "Welsh"), only the Whites have a majority who believe in freedom.  I conclude that most Blacks and Hispanics believe in slavery.  That strikes me as very odd given the fact that so many Blacks are demanding reparations for the slavery imposed on a tiny percentage of their ancestors hundreds of years ago.  Oh well, so much for logical consistency.
The correlation between age and the belief in freedom is almost direct (the oldest cohort showing a slight decrease in the belief in freedom).  The younger a person is the more likely he is to believe the lies of statism.  That does not come as a surprise.  Statism dresses itself up as compassionate humanitarianism.  Statism has won the rhetorical war and managed to get capitalism classified as hateful and destructive.  Furthermore, the youngest people surveyed are closest to their government school education which was primarily designed to indoctrinate them in the glories of statism and the evils of economic freedom.  It takes time for young people to grow up and realize that they have been deceived.  It took me several decades to throw off the intellectual shackles of my socialistic upbringing and embrace the truths of free market capitalism.  Sadly, many of those young people will never mature.  Even worse, they will become entrenched socialists who go to their graves believing they are entitled to receive the financial fruits of the productive efforts of others.
It does not take a nuclear scientist to predict that those who make the most money in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika would be most prone to believe in freedom.  People quite naturally want to keep what belongs to them.  Conversely it is also no great surprise to discover that those who make the least money believe it is the duty of the state to take the money of those who are free and hand it over to them.  Envious people want what other people have.  This is envy at its best, or worst, depending upon your perspective.  The sense of entitlement that exists in those who believe in slavery is astounding.  They justify their sinful envy by telling themselves that they are morally good, that their governmental leaders are gods, and that the people they are stealing the money from are corrupt and evil.  They further justify their envy filled thievery by convincing themselves that anything done by majority vote is good, right and proper.  I wonder....what if the majority somehow magically started to believe in freedom?  What would happen if the majority suddenly stopped using government to steal the wealth and income of others?  How would the envy-filled idiots who populate and operate this country then justify their sin?
The survey also shows how the various political parties think about stealing other people's money.  At that point I believe the survey disconnects from reality.  According to the table only 9% of Conservative Republicans believe in socialism.  Yet, the majority of the Congressional Republicans voted in favor of King Bush's Medicare expansion.  The majority of the Congressional Republicans voted in favor of ongoing government subsidies for agricultural products, education and failed businesses like Amtrak and the Post Office.  The majority of the Congressional Republicans voted in favor of the Patriot Act which is one of the most powerful anti-freedom bills ever passed by Congress.  Once again, so much for logical consistency.
So, whether they will admit to it or not (and the truly idiotic are happy to admit to it), we are surrounded by idiots who believe that the wealth of others belongs to them whenever they can get an elected ruler to make the transfer to them by means of a compassionate sounding bill like "Aid To Someone Who Is In Distress".  Everyone knows the drill.  The rulers take the money of freedom loving people who are productive and give it to the slavery loving people who elected them.  In exchange for the largess the rulers get public adulation, huge salaries, tons of bribes and under the table payments and lifetime pensions on a scale far above what is ever seen in the business world.  In the end the envy filled idiots of the world get exactly what they deserve.  Unfortunately, since there are more of them than there are of us who believe in freedom, we will go down in their boat. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Idiots At The Lone Tree Arts Center

I went to a dance recital over the weekend.  I had never been to a dance recital before.  I have been to all sorts of recitals over the years.  I have heard poetry recited.  I have heard music of all types recited.  I have witnessed the presentation of dramatic and comedic oratory as well.  But I had never seen a dance recital.  So when the opportunity to attend this particular recital came up, I jumped at the chance.
The recital ended up being nothing like what I expected when I agreed to attend it.  You see, I was going to see a charming little three year old bust some moves.  I expected it would be held in some local dance studio and be attended by parents and a few family members.  I thought it would last about fifteen to twenty minutes and conclude with weak punch and stale cake.  Man was I wrong.
I forget the name of the studio that sponsored the recital.  I found out that it was going to be held at the Lone Tree Arts Center.  I had never been to the Lone Tree Arts Center before and had no idea what to expect.  I began to realize that my expectations were way off when, as I got near to the building, I was unable to find parking due to the fact that hundreds of Yuppies were also looking for places to park their SUVs.  I had to drop my wife off at the valet parking and go find a spot a considerable distance from the venue.  When I finally got to the front door I was given my ticket and I was surprised to see that I had just been issued a ticket to attend "La Vingt - Septie'me 2013", whatever that is.  I think the words are French.  I have no idea what they mean.  After attending the recital I still have no idea what they mean.  If I had to guess I would say it probably means "lots of girls dancing".
We were ushered into a large auditorium that appeared to be sold out.  Shortly after arriving the curtain was raised and the show began.  The program that I held in my hand indicated that there were about a dozen different groups of dancers, ranging in age from 3-18 years, that were going to perform multiple dances per group.  My expectations for a quick get-away were dashed.  "Buck up", I told myself, maybe this will be fun.  The program indicated that the young dancer I had agreed to come to the show to see would be up in the second dance.  Her dance took about a minute or two and I was left facing another two hours of dancing before the show would end.
To my surprise, I enjoyed the show enormously.  What I witnessed was a group of about 100 girls (there were only three boys in the entire troupe..guys, if you like to dance, go join this group....they desperately need Y chromosomes) who seemed to be having a fabulous time performing a variety of dances they had learned and, in some cases, choreographed themselves.  There were various skill levels on display but the one constant was that every one of the dancers seemed to be having a genuinely good time.  I quickly came to the conclusion that these dancers were not doing what they were doing because their Yuppie parents wanted to live out their dancing dreams through them.  On the contrary, the dancers were doing what they were doing despite their parents.  I will get to that shortly.
Another thing that I noticed was the stage presence of the kids.  I am accustomed to seeing child performers with very little stage presence.  The stilted delivery of memorized lines in plays and musicals is standard fare for kids of this age.  What surprised me the most about this group of kids was how they all seemed to have a real awareness of what they were doing as performers and how they all seemed to be able to get outside of themselves and project the proper image for each of their dances.  If that had been all there was to the show it would have been an enjoyable evening spent and a lesson learned. Unfortunately, the parents of the kids on the stage were also in attendance.
As I had initially walked up to the building I noticed that it seemed as if every single parent present was carrying a large bouquet of roses.  "Ah, it is self esteem build up night", I thought to myself.  I hate the way Yuppie parents believe they have to praise everything their kids do.  I hate the modern doctrine of self esteem that declares parents to be abusive if they are not "fans of their kids".  There was actually a Yuppie psychological program in the Denver metro area years ago entitled "Be A Fan Of Your Kids".  It seems to me that they have everything backwards.  Well developed children should be fans of their parents.  When parents are told to be fans of their kids there are sure to be bad things to follow.  I steeled myself against the expected gushing outflow of praise and the delivery of flowers to be done after the show and entered the building.
As I settled into my seat I noticed that the program I had been given had a strange sentence written on it.  I would have thought that a sophisticated Yuppie audience would not need to be told but the program informed those of us in attendance that we were to behave ourselves while watching the recital and refrain from shouting, hollering, hooting, calling out names, and other sorts of socially unacceptable behavior.  I guess I should have seen it coming but I did not.  Once the curtain was raised and the first dance began, the hooting and hollering started.  Each parent apparently was compelled to shout out the name of his or her daughter in order to avoid being charged with abuse by the self esteem police.  Fortunately the kids seemed to ignore the bad behavior of their parents.  They were having too much fun dancing.  The response of the audience to each segment was overly loud and boisterous as each group of Yuppie parents tried to build more self esteem in their child than the previous group had.  I sat quietly, enjoyed the performances, and did not clap until the end of "La Vingt - Septie'me 2013", whatever that is. 
Perhaps most disgusting of all was the behavior of the parents during the intermission.  Many of them made a hasty departure as their kids had completed their portion of the show.  Although that is bad form I could hardly criticize them for doing so when I had harbored the exact same thoughts myself.  What disturbed me the most was the loud talking and the drunkenness.  There was a bar in the lobby and it was doing a good business.  A group of scantily clad (I believe they call them "evening gowns") Yuppie women (all with stick arms and enormous augmented breasts that were amply displayed) gathered near where my wife and I were sitting and exclaimed to one anther just how drunk they were.  They thought it was the funniest thing.  They thought everyone in the building should be looking at them.  No one did as there were plenty of other loud mouthed groups doing exactly the same thing.
I concluded that this particular group of Yuppie children were more sophisticated and more well behaved than their parents.  I concluded that there were a lot of idiots in attendance at that dance recital and I felt sorry for the kids who had to witness the immature and immoral behavior of their parents.  What should have been a celebration of juvenile dance ended up being all about Yuppie misbehavior.  How sad.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Idiots At The Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal was, at one time, a bastion for free market economics.  Those folks who reported on the operation of the free market that took place on Wall Street understood that the market operates best when it is free from government intervention.  They further understood that all government intervention is harmful to economic growth and they would never have called for any government institution to support or aid the business community in any way.  My how things have changed.
If you have not already read my May 3rd posting to this blog (Brainless Ben Bernanke) you probably should take a couple of minutes and do so.  I presuppose the facts and the conclusions that I made in that posting here.  I begin with the fact that monetary policy as administered by the Federal Reserve Board can only have harmful effects upon the economy.  I also begin with the fact that the recent policies of the Federal Reserve Board are in no way responsible for the bull market in stocks we have experienced since the end of the previous bear market on March 9, 2009.  Those facts are proven in my previous post.
The Sunday edition of the Wall Street Journal had an article written by Brett Arends entitled "Will the Stock Market Party On?  It's All Up to the Fed."  You can see where the article is going from the headline.  The underlying belief of Arends and the Journal is that the Federal Reserve Board, and Ben Bernanke, is responsible for the present bull market in stocks.  Here, in part, is the argument:
"The IMF cut next year's growth forecast from 3.0% to 2.7%, and left this year's forecast at an anemic 1.9%....Despite the IMF's report, the stock market's recent turmoil isn't the product of bad news about the economy.  On the contrary, much recent data such as those on jobs and retails sales, have been positive...Instead, what has driven the market into its sudden white-knuckle ride has been the fear that central banks may soon start bringing to an end their unprecedented policy of low interest rates and easy money."  Let's consider some of these points for a moment.
Yesterday's posting to this blog deals with the IMF.  For the most part the folks who populate the IMF are ignoramuses who understand nothing of economics.  Their forecasts for future economic growth are shots in the dark that mean nothing.  Nevertheless, look at how the WSJ interprets the IMF report.  The WSJ wants to convey the impression that the stock market is highly volatile and on the verge of a 2008-2009 like collapse.  The WSJ describes the current stock market as a "white-knuckle ride".  Ridiculous.  Look at this graph of the VIX since 2008:
 Chart forVOLATILITY S&P 500 (^VIX)The VIX is an index that tracks stock market volatility.   You will notice that it peaked in late 2008 at 80.  It peaked again in early 2010 at around 40.  It peaked one more time in late 2011 at around 45.  Since then it has generally been below 20.  The recent volatility that the WSJ describes as "white-knuckle" has seen the VIX rise from 14 to 18.  That hardly seems like massive volatility to me.  How the WSJ can possibly compare the present market volatility to the past and conclude that we are in a period of massive volatility is a mystery to me.  Could it be they look back fondly on the good old days when market volatility was very high and they were selling lots of newspapers?
Furthermore, the WSJ describes the current period as a time in which we have experienced "unprecedented...easy money."  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Look at this chart of M2 which shows the percent change from the previous year in the M2 money supply since 1980:

FRED Graph
 Although it is certainly the case that M2 has been increasing over the previous three years, it is by no means true that the present rate of increase is "unprecedented".  We experienced greater rates of increase in the money supply throughout the 1980s as well as during the recession of 2000-2002.  What the WSJ is alleging is simply not true.  But it gets worse.
The WSJ article goes on to say, "The danger for investors is that both stock and bond markets have been driven to record highs on the back of central-bank 'financial engineering,' which must, inevitably, come to an end....The stock market has been on a tear until the middle of May and sentiment had become dangerously complacent....Likewise, the S & P 500 is trading in lofty territory -- at price/earnings multiples not seen since 2010."  What a bunch of hogwash.  Allow me to explain.
The popular theory at this time is that the stock market has risen due to central bank inflation.  I have already proven that theory to be in error.  Nevertheless, people want to believe that theory because they are gun-shy as a result of the last two bear markets and do not want to be caught unprepared for another one.  As a result, everyone is calling for a new bear market and describing the present market as dangerously overpriced.  The WSJ should not be subject to popular whims and fancies.  The writers at the WSJ should know enough about economics and business to give us quality information that conveys reality, not fabricated "facts" that perpetuate popular mythologies.  Markets have not been "driven to record highs on the back of central-bank financial engineering".  Stock markets should routinely be setting record highs.  It is rare in the history of the world when stock markets are not routinely establishing new highs.  The reason for it is simple.  As long as the capital stock is continuing to grow the stock market should continue to set record highs.  That is nothing to be alarmed about.  Indeed, it is something to be expected.  In this day and age, however, when everyone is afraid of the next bear market, that little bit of common sense wisdom is tossed out the window.
The fear that the S & P 500 is trading at a PE ratio that is unsustainable is utter nonsense.  Look at this graph of the S & P 500 PE ratio (trailing earnings) since 1870:



As can clearly been seen in the above graph, the PE ratio of the S & P 500 is right in the middle of historic averages.  Why, then, would the WSJ report that it is in "lofty territory" and clearly intimate that a bear market is near?  I do not have the answer to that question.  The only thing I can say is that a once storied institution has succumbed to popular madness and is now writing economic reports based upon speculation and emotion rather than economic facts and rational analysis.  It seems that the WSJ is filled with idiots as well.  The stock market is going to continue to rise.  The stock market is going to continue to set new highs. And, most importantly, the Fed is going to have nothing to do with it.  Deal with that truth you crazies at the WSJ.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Idiots At The International Monetary Fund

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is composed of people who are allegedly the greatest economic minds in the world.  These economic geniuses are believed to be able to manipulate and control the economic development of the entire world.  The IMF is an international organization that was conceived in 1944 at the infamous Bretton Woods Conference.  It came into official existence in 1945 and was initially made up of 29 member countries, including the US.  The original intention in establishing the IMF was for it to assist the member countries in their international payments and exchange rates.  It has long since morphed into a different organization with many more powers and functions.   Here is a statement taken from their website that describes their activity in regards to economic monitoring:
"The IMF oversees the international monetary system and monitors the financial and economic policies of its members. It keeps track of economic developments on a national, regional, and global basis, consulting regularly with member countries and providing them with macroeconomic and financial policy advice."  In other words, these people are in many ways like our Federal Reserve, only bigger and more meddlesome.
The IMF issued a report on economic conditions in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika last week.  The report was covered by Christopher Rugaber of the Associated Press.  In part, here is what his story had to say about the IMF's appraisal of present economic conditions in the SDA:
"The U.S. economy is on sounder footing than it was a year ago but is still being restrained by government spending cuts and tax increases, the International Monetary Fund said Friday.  The IMF's annual report on the U.S. economy noted that the underlying fundamentals are gradually improving:  home prices and construction are rising, household finances have strengthened and employers are steadily adding jobs.  The outlook was much more optimistic than IMF's 2012 report."  Did you catch the error?  Did you spot the logical self-contradiction?  Do you see the economic ignorance on display in that report?
According to the IMF, the economy of the SDA is growing, albeit slowly.  The two primary hindrances to more rapid economic growth are government spending cuts and tax increases.  In other words, the brilliant economic minds at the IMF believe that economic growth is retarded by reductions in government spending and increases in taxation. Conversely, those economic masterminds at the IMF believe that economic growth can be stimulated by increasing government spending and decreasing taxes.  Now, do you see the contradiction?  If you do, you are smarter than the most brillilant economic minds in the world.  If you do not, you might want to contact the IMF and ask for a job as a world economic analyst.
Government spending and taxes are inextricably linked.  Government can spend more money only if it has more money to spend.  Government can obtain more money to spend in only two ways:  counterfeiting it (what the Federal Reserve and Treasury do every day of the year) or extracting more from the citizens via taxation.  Here is the problem......if government spending is good for the economy, as the IMF alleges, how can that government spending be enacted without raising taxes, which, according to the IMF, is bad for the economy?  Put another way, how can the government stimulate economic growth by cutting taxes when cutting taxes necessarily reduces the very government spending that is expected to stimulate economic growth?
The all-knowing economists at the IMF have put themselves in an untenable position.  They believe, quite wrongly I might add, that government spending stimulates economic growth.  They also believe, quite properly I might add, that government taxation hinders economic growth.  Rather than acknowledge that their statism necessarily involves them in a  hopeless economic contradiction, they simply issue a report in which they call for contradictory measures that have no chance of succeeding in the goal of stimulating economic growth.  The AP dutifully picked up the story and reported it.  Apparently nobody recognized the inherent self-contradiction in the central thesis of the IMF report but me.
No doubt some Keynesian economist will read what I have written above and accuse me of misrepresenting what the IMF actually said.  This Keynesian will argue that there is a third option that I have not considered.  This Keynesian will say that the government can increase spending without raising taxes, thus accomplishing the two goals of higher government spending and lower taxes.  This Keynesian economist will tell us that all we have to do is get the Federal Reserve and Treasury to engage in deficit spending and all will be well.  The Keynesians might be dumber than the idiots at the IMF.
Creating money out of thin air is a form of taxation, whether the Kenyesians will admit to that truth or not.  The introduction of additional money into an economy by a central bank decreases the value of the existing money in the economy.  All things being equal, a five percent rate of inflation reduces the value of the previously existing dollars by five percent.  That five percent reduction in value is just as much a tax on the holder of dollars as a five percent income tax is on a wage earner.  Both parties find the value of their dollar holdings reduced by five percent at the end of the day.  In both situations the government has taken five percent of the value of the taxpayer/wage earner.  My critique stands unaffected by the protestations of the Keynesians.
Government spending never causes an economy to grow because government must first take what it later spends.  Even if government could tax and spend with absolutely no transaction costs and with absolutely no missallocation of resources (which never happens in the real world, by the way) the absolute best the government could do would be to have no impact upon the economy whatsoever.  It is not encouraging when some of the most powerful forces in the economic world are so amazingly stupid.  It is even less encouraging when the citizens of the world are unable to discern the idiocy of their rulers.  I guess, as is always the case, we end up getting exactly what we deserve.